I am sure you have heard about Beyonce and Jay-Z embracing a Vegan diet for 22 days leading up to Jay-Z's 44th birthday on Christmas day. Jay-Z seems to be leading the charge and the main reason behind this seems to be one of health and cleansing driven by their personal trainer who is a Vegan.
On Jay-Z's website he wrote:
'This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a plant-based breakfast everyday. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought.'
He added: 'It just feels right! So you can call it a spiritual and physical cleanse. I will post my progress. Any professional vegans out there that have any great food spots please help out! Please!
'I don't know what happens after Christmas. A semi-vegan, a full plant-based diet? Or just a spiritual and physical challenge? We'll see. P.S. B (Beyonce) is also joining me.'
For me this is fantastic as they are worldwide celebrities with huge fan bases and influence. I have already seen loads of messages left by fans saying how this has inspired them to find out more about plant-based food. The impact of this on saving animals from being slaughtered could be massive.
Unfortunately some members of the Vegan community have only been negative about this picking up on the fact that Beyonce does wear fur and other animal skins. Also, she was seen wearing fur the day after this announcement came out, a bit of a silly blunder her PR team should have picked up on. Now I am in no way defending this as I am sickened by the slaughter and process that goes on with animal products such as fur and leather. What I will say is that the fact they are trying a Vegan diet means it is getting into worldwide news, and media coverage we could only dream about.
I don't care if they are only using it for a fad spiritual diet or jumping on a bandwagon, great, jump on and jump high. Everyone who embraces eating or wearing less animals in their life makes a big difference, especially to the perception of what a Vegan is or what plant-based food is. It is unrealistic to think that once someone tries to embrace aspects of Veganism it will all happen in one go. It is a transitional thing that one learns more about while going down that path.
I went Vegan 6 1/2 years ago and it took me the best part of 6 months to realise things I couldn't eat or what I couldn't buy. If someone had attacked me for making a mistake what good does that do.
Who is going to want to join a group of people that just make negative comments and criticise you for not doing it, as they perceive, correctly. I know some vegans who rather than wearing an old pair of leather shoes bought before turning vegan (which in my eyes has zero impact on cruelty and environment) they wear a new plastic pair perhaps made from a sweat shop in China. That is extremely damaging to our planet and to human rights. I know what the definition of a vegan is, but you have to look at the wider picture.
Lets all be happy, positive and support anyone who wants to do anything remotely connected, like not eating meat for one day. If everyone did that it would make a profound difference to animals saved and the impact upon our planet.
What links the photos above? They are all Vegan & all different, there is no stereotype.
Perceptions are changing and this will only help it. I was in a meeting the other day and they said grab some food, I said "I'm Vegan", they said "Oh, you don't look like a vegan". We must end that vegans have a certain look, anyone can be vegan and be........well normal, well nourished and level headed. We must support what people like Jay-Z are doing and encourage it more.
For more advice on how to try veganism and for general information please visit the Vegan Society website - http://www.vegansociety.com/
or VIVA for awareness of what really happens in animal industries - http://www.viva.org.uk/